Psalm 99–The Clearest Picture of the Majesty of God

It is rare that the mightiest of Kings, the most powerful of leaders, the name that would make all nations tremble–would actually be the one that loves His creation with the most gentle and sacrificial heart.  This God; mighty and awesome in every way–on this day, allowed His only begotten son to die. He did that because, while he could have swept away the world and all that was in it; He chose instead to redeem the world–with the sacrifice of His most beloved companion.

While we will never completely understand the awesome nature of almighty God; we cannot discount the truth that He truly is the master of the universe. What is more, with the vast and beautiful universe before us–no picture is more breathtaking and awe inspiring, than the picture of His love for man; Jesus stretched out on a cross–on a Passover weekend so many years ago. The Psalmist so eloquently penned the amazing greatness of God in Psalm 99, but, His greatness is best articulated in the amazing grace of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

The Lord reigns–on this we can rest assured! But God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. There is no clearer demonstration of the absolute love and majesty of our Heavenly Father–than that sweet gift given on this Good Friday!!

God Bless You

The Lord reigns,

    let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
    let the earth shake.
Great is the Lord in Zion;
    he is exalted over all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name—
    he is holy.

The King is mighty, he loves justice—
    you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done
    what is just and right.
Exalt the Lord our God
    and worship at his footstool;
    he is holy.

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
    Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they called on the Lord
    and he answered them.
He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
    they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.

Lord our God,
    you answered them;
you were to Israel a forgiving God,
    though you punished their misdeeds.[a]
Exalt the Lord our God
    and worship at his holy mountain,
    for the Lord our God is holy.

Psalm 98–Keep it Fresh and Keep It Real

The psalmist’s theme this week is to praise God for who He is and for what He has done. All week, we have looked at the different aspects of God’s greatness; and have seen that no matter our opinion, He is God; and He still reigns.

Today, the message is simple, “Keep it fresh!” Sometimes, we become so involved in the routine that we lose sight of the purpose. That is exactly what the writer is warning the reader about.

We need to look at our relationship with God daily.  We need to recognize each day his glory, greatness and provision in our lives.  As we do, His power and majesty registers in our day, and we never lose sight of who He is and who we are in Him.  If we do, however, lose sight–then we begin do our lives as a religion and not a relationship. At that point, we start worshiping the rituals and not the creator.  So, that is why the psalmist reminds us to sing God a new song–make your worship about Him and not about the discipline of worship.  As we do that, we are engulfed and embraced by a power and a peace that transcends understanding.

God Bless You

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.

Psalms 97–The Lord Reigns

The Lord reigns. Whether you believe in God or not–He still reigns. Whether you are alive or not–The Lord still reigns. Whether you follow Him or trust Him–Yep, He still reigns.  All the fuss over whether there is a God, whether God’s name should be used in schools, government, sporting events or on TV…yep, all moot–He still reigns.

God is really unaffected by what we think of Him. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, men have been trying to best Him, destroy Him and eradicate Him from their lives. God wants people to know however that He Loves us! He sent Christ to die for our sins–while we were yet sinners. He has always accepted us as we are–We need to trust Him–but, even if we do not…He still reigns!

This weekend is the time each year that we acknowledge His sacrifice for us and the redemption we are offered by allowing him to be a part of our lives. If we embrace that; it will change us literally, forever! The funny thing is, however; if we do not follow him, if we do not accept the free gift God offers, if we do not allow him to redeem us…well ,even then…Yep, He still reigns!!!

God Bless You

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
    let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him
    and consumes his foes on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
    the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    and all peoples see his glory.

All who worship images are put to shame,
    those who boast in idols—
    worship him, all you gods!

Zion hears and rejoices
    and the villages of Judah are glad
    because of your judgments, Lord.
For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
    for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
    and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines[a] on the righteous
    and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
    and praise his holy name.

Psalm 96–Who Should Praise God

It seems the psalms group into themes.  This week’s theme is ascribing to God the praise and honor He deserves. Today’s focus is simple–Who should praise the Lord?  As the psalmist looked around and took note of who should praise the Lord, he realized that the group includes everyone.  Each person that God has created, each nation that he has formed. The creation he has called into being, the peoples and  families he has put together all should praise the Lord.

When one takes stock today at the wonders of the Lord, the lives he has affected, the extent of God’s glory–we all are left knowing we too should praise the Lord.  We owe Him everything. God gave us life, He gave us order and civilization.  He gave us families and the fellowships of believers to provide community and support. God gave us the ability to pray, and read his word; to know his heart and mind. He gave us His one and only Son, to redeem our lost condition. He sent His spirit to comfort and guide us in this journey.

There is little doubt that God has provided, protected and prepared us for eternity–for that reason, we should praise Him–as should the world around us! So, Let’s praise God this day!

God Bless You

Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness;
    tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
    The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
    he will judge the peoples with equity.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
    let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
    he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 95–Learn From Other’s Mistakes

They had no excuse! The children of Israel were led from Egypt by the very presence of God. They were fed, watered, protected and blessed by a loving God; that wanted nothing more, than to bless them and release them into a free life in their own land. 

The Bible chronicles the story of their lives, their failures and of God’s patience; but, at some point, God saw that the slaves he led out were never going to accept the freedom he was providing. So, he never let them fully enjoy it. 

Their kid’s however–born into freedom, would know nothing other than God’s presence and his leadership.  They not only entered Canaan; but, they followed God’s leadership and cleared Canaan. It was their land–and still is today. It was a matter of trust.  The same God provided the same blessing–but, it was the trust and faith of the people that made the difference.

Like Israel, we have no excuse. We have God’s word to chronicle His power and Love. He has made clear through nature, history and His spirit–that he is in charge, and simply wants to bless us, if we will trust him. Still, like Israel, we struggle to accept the freedom God offers.  What’s more, we are always hedging to do things in our power, rather than counting upon his power to protect and lead us on the journey. As the psalmist sings–“Let’s be different and simply trust and praise God.”  Then, like the 2nd generation, we can enjoy the blessing God longs to share with us. It is a gift–We simply have to accept it. On this week of Easter–embrace and accept the gift God longs to share!!!

God Bless You

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care.

Today, if only you would hear his voice,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,[a]
    as you did that day at Massah[b] in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
    they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

Psalm 94–God’s Love and Discipline

When I was a child; heck, I have said it as a parent…”I discipline you because I love you. If I didn’t care–I would let you roam free and destroy yourself.” So it is with God our father.  When we see the world running amok and they seem to be paying no price for their behavior–we as God’s chosen feel like it is not fair.  They get away with anything they want.  Well God’s response is simply–They are not mine to discipline.

Make no mistake, God does not prevent them from experiencing the effects of their decisions; but, he does not train those he does not love. In our lives, it seems that we are always being pointed back to the Lord. If we sin we are caught, if we fail to follow him, we lose control and are miserable. We try to do life on our own and we mess it up. That is God leading, guiding and directing us into a life that he directs and blesses us.  When we follow Him, we experience His blessing and comfort. We see things from an eternal perspective.  It is in that place that we really experience God’s love in our lives.  Thank you Lord, that you discipline those you love.

God Bless You

Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
    the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
    till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;
    he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
    I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

Psalm 93–The Lord Reigns Supreme

Today the message is simple, The Lord God reigns.  There is no purer, truer or more  fitting message in light of the madness happening across the globe–The Lord reigns. It is very likely that as the psalmist wrote this psalm; life seemed pretty out of control for his time, as well. In the midst of the storm and confusion, the author declares–God Reigns! The world knows it, creation knows it and we know it. Further, since we know it-we need to acknowledge his supremacy.

If then, we know God to be supreme–we should live lives that trust his leadership, reverences his authority and honors his supremacy.  We should not try to wrestle back control of our lives–that is a futile and silly course of action. Instead, we should humbly and gratefully submit to God’s lordship and trust that He cares for us, protects us and prepares us for each day’s circumstances.  As we allow The Lord to reign, (as if we could do otherwise) He then leads, blesses and completes His work in our lives and the lives of our families. In the end, we have a full and meaningful journey; and a legacy that lives well beyond us and our children.

He is supreme! He needs to be Lord of our lives, since he is Lord of all creation! Will you allow Him to reign in you?

God Bless You

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
Your throne was established long ago;
    you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, Lord,
    the seas have lifted up their voice;
    the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
    mightier than the breakers of the sea—
    the Lord on high is mighty.

Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
    holiness adorns your house
    for endless days.

Psalm 92–Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

As the old saying goes, “Let’s give credit where credit is due!” The psalmist is making that the point of the day. It is good to praise the Lord.  He, after all, created all things. He has guided the lives of His people. While the godless seem to spring up and do well with no thought of God, they will pass away without a legacy.

God is God!!  He makes things work. He brings life out of nothing, and purpose out of a meaningless chaotic world. So, what does that mean to us? It means that in the midst of our prayer, we need to stop and not only thank Him for what he has done in our lives, but, also praise God for who He is.  We need to recognize His amazing efforts, and acknowledge his hand in our lives.  We simply need to give God the reverence, that he deserves.

When we do that, it blesses us. We see God for who he is, and it helps us to trust him with our lives, and our families. We also realize that we in no way measure up to him; and, therefore, should not try to take his job of leading us through life.  If we can recognize God for who he is, and trust him to make us into his image–then, we will experience the life of meaning and purpose that we have always dreamed of.

God Bless You 

It is good to praise the Lord
    and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
    and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
    and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
    I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
    how profound your thoughts!
Senseless people do not know,
    fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
    they will be destroyed forever.

But you, Lord, are forever exalted.

Psalm 91–God IS the Ultimate Refuge

The best place to be is in the shadow of God Almighty. Oh, sure, that might not be the recommendation of Forbes, Trip-adviser or Expedia travel; but at the end of any day being in the refuge of our Lord is the only place I want to stay.  The psalmist makes it clear–in his refuge we are safe from harm, we find peace, and, while the rest of the world might literally “be going to Hell in a hand basket”–we are safe.

He literally covers us, protects us and makes the world a place for us to live full, meaningful, peaceful lives. In exchange, we rest in him, hide in him, seek and follow him–but, we mostly simply trust him.  Make no mistake; life is difficult.  We encounter trials and temptation that are sometimes insurmountable and unbearable. in the midst of those times, He still provides protection, meaning and purpose! We need not fear the life before us–as desperate as it may seem. We simply need to hide in the refuge of the Lord and allow him to be our strength, our purpose and our guide through the midst of the confusion.

God Bless You

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.

Psalm 90–Moses’ View of God

Moses wrote Psalm 90. It is a reminder, from one of God’s great partners of how little power and control that we have–as compared to God.  Few men understood God, his mission and his power more than Moses. God prepared Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He did so by raising him as a prince, training him as a shepherd, using him as a liberator and guiding him for 40+ years through the desert.

Moses saw God at his best and worst. He grew to love and honor God like few others. He tolerated the most stiff-necked slaves, and slowly changed them into warriors and victors. He wrote the books of the law and was Israel’s 1st picture of Jesus. So, when we look at his view of God, we should take note.

Moses knew God was eternal; so our limited view of life and time means little to God. He also knew that God could change course in a second. When we as people think we can control our lives; we are living an illusion. Moses knew people should be both humble and reverent as they seek God. Displaying any other attitude would be arrogant and would lead to a difficult end.

Today, God who owns time and space–still calls us to respect and honor him. If we choose to do so; he will lead, guide and protect us–as he has done for his folks since the beginning. We can trust God, as Moses did, and watch Him fulfill His plan for our lives. It will not be as we expect; for, God’s ways are not our ways. He will, complete all He has planned for us, if we will simply allow Him to take the lead and humbly follow, like Moses did.

God Bless You

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
    they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

We are consumed by your anger
    and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
    we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.